Staunton, August 5 – The Supreme Court of the Ingush Republic has announced that, on August 15, it will hear an appeal by deputies concerning the April 2 decision of a Magas district court which held the law Yunus-Bek Yevkurov pushed through to confirm his border agreement with Chechnya fully constitutional.
On September 26, 2018, Yevkurov, then head of Ingushetia, and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov signed a border accord which transferred 26,000 hectares of land from Ingushetia to Chechnya, sparking the protest movement that has roiled public live in Ingushetia ever since (fortanga.org/2019/08/vstat-sud-idet/).
But according to the Ingush Constitution, the Yevkurov-Kadyrov agreement had no force until a law was passed by the Popular Assembly of Ingushetia. Yevkurov arranged that on October 4 by means that the opposition says involved massive violations of the constitution and the rules of procedure of the national legislature.
Opposition legislators went to court but lost in April. They then appealed and the republic Supreme Court has agreed to examine the decision of the Magas district court and determine whether it was constitutional. If it hold the lower court’s ruling was not constitutional, the border agreement would become null and avoid.
The appellants raise five points: First, they say that the law itself was “fabricated by means of the falsification of the results of secret voting.” Second, they say that the lower court judge violated numerous material and procedural rules. Third, they argue that the lower court failed to take into consideration the testimony of those supporting the appellants.
Fourth, the appellants argue that even if a law was passed in secret voting, it must be reconfirmed by public voting to take effect. That was not done in this case. And fifth, they say that the lower court violated not only the laws of the republic but a decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.
A lot is riding on the Supreme Court’s decision. On the one hand, its ruling will likely determine whether the border accord with Chechnya stays in place. And on the other, the way in which it reaches its decision will play a major role in determining whether the Ingush people continue to view it as the guardian of their rights.